Location: Alderman Blaxhill School, Colchester, Essex
Event: 10 March 2013
Report: Andrew Whitehouse/Snowdon Sports
Hugh Wilson (NFTO) took victory in the Jock Wadley Memorial in Essex on Sunday as the wet conditions and fast pace took a devastating toll on the field for the prestigious event.
Just 17 riders from a starting field of 73 finished the 132-kilometre race, based on 12 laps of a circuit near Alderman Blaxhill School in Colchester. Organiser Malcolm Hargreaves said it was the wettest race in the 13 years he has been in charge of the event.
Wilson, 25 and from Llanbethery near Barry in South Wales, sprinted to victory ahead of seasoned rider Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth), while Richard Tanguy (UK Youth) took third, just a few seconds back.
The trio were clear for the final few laps of the race, which was split apart early on. With many of the country’s top teams fielding strong line-ups, the pace was set high from the off and the bunch quickly splintered.
There were several attempts to escape earlier in the race which never amounted to much more than 10-15 second leads, but it was as they approached lap six that the decisive move came, with Wilson and Tanguy getting clear of a 16-strong chasing group, while the remains of the field were another three minutes back.
By the next time round the two leaders had more than two minutes over the chasers, but Ian Wilkinson was clearly not content to sit it out and wait for a sprint for third and attacked hard, alone.
With three laps left Wilkinson finally latched on to the leaders after an impressive display, and the remains of the chasing group was now just 11 riders strong, while the main bunch was more than four minutes back and fragmenting.
At the bell the lead started to come down, but the leaders were not going to be caught, with just eight left in the chasing group.
As they charged round the final few corners each one of the three leaders had a dig, but after Wilkinson and Tanguy had tried and been pulled back, it was Wilson who proved strongest, holding off Wilkinson for the win, with Tanguy five seconds back.
What they said
“I had really good legs today,” said Hugh Wilson afterwards. “I got across to a break and nobody seemed to be working, so with seven laps to go I hit them up on the tops.
“Richard Tanguy came with me and we got away and kept working, but I didn’t think we would stay away to be honest.
“We got quite a large gap and I thought there was a bit of hope, and then Ian Wilkinson got across to us and things got a bit easier then. With a couple of laps to go I felt we could have sealed the deal.
“With half a lap to go Wilko hit me and I pulled him back and Richard led out from the bottom. But he wasn’t too quick, and I knew Wilko’s legs weren’t too good as I managed to pull him back, so I hit him and I’ve got a good kick on me, and I got the win! I’m over the moon, stuck for words really.
“I’m pleased that I’m not ill this year after having two months off from December to February and really struggled through the season. But I’ve been good as gold this year. We had a good training camp in Majorca and my health is good, and I felt I had really good legs today.
“It’s going really well for me. I’m getting on a bit now so if I’m going to start winning it’s got to be now!”
1 Hugh Wilson (NFTO) 3:39:42
2 Ian Wilkinson (UK Youth) @ same time
3 Richard Tanguy (UK Youth) @ 5sec
4 Peter Williams (IG Sigma Sport) @ 2:07
5 Yanto Barker (UK Youth) @ same time
6 Marc O'Brien (Raleigh) @ 2:10
7 Billy-Joe Whenman (Zannata CT) @ 2:13
8 Steve Lampier (Node 4 Giordana) @ 2:14
9 Kristian House (Rapha Condor-JLT) @ 2:15
10 Matt Cronshaw (IG Sigma Sport)
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British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.